[Lingtyp] Does bipolar polysemy exist?

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Thu May 31 07:18:58 EDT 2018

A point of logic.  "Not X" and "Antonym (X)" are distinct notions, and 
the original query by Ian Joo pertains to the former, not the latter.  
Hence, the Wikipedia entry on "auto-antonym", however interesting in its 
own right, is not directly relevant to the original query.

 From a narrow truth-functional perspective, "X or not X" is a 
tautology, and hence any meaningless expression in a language (e.g. an 
exclamation expressing an affective state) would be equivalent to, say, 
"go or not go".  But somehow, I suspect that this is not what Ian Joo is 
looking for ...

On 31/05/2018 12:57, Joo Ian wrote:
> Dear all,
> I would like to know if the following universal claim holds:
> /There exists no lexeme that can mean X and the negation of X. (For 
> example, no lexeme can express “to go” and “to not go”)./
> I wonder if such “bipolar polysemy” exists in any lexeme, because I 
> cannot think of any, and whether this claim is truly universal.
> I would appreciate to know if there is any counter-evidence.
> From Hong Kong,
> Ian Joo
> http://ianjoo.academia.edu
> _______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp

David Gil

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816

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